One of the devices we were quite sure we’d see here at CES 2020 was the ASUS Chromebook C436 and, though we knew quite a bit about it before we even flew out to Las Vegas, there were clearly parts of this device that were still shrouded in mystery. After seeing the absolutely stunning Samsung Galaxy Chromebook on Tuesday, I was a bit fearful that there wasn’t anything the Flip C436 could do to truly impress me, but that wasn’t the case at all.
Instead, I left my hands-on time with the Flip C436 with a single question surrounding price and the distinct feeling that this Chromebook and the excellent Samsung Galaxy Chromebook will be duking it out for best Chromebook of 2020 all year long. While there’s less flash and awe with the Flip C436, my bet is it will be more competitive with its pricing and with the features on board, users won’t really be sacrificing too much.
Let’s run those features down quickly as they are all very similar to what Samsung has put together. We’re looking at a 14-inch device with 10th-gen Core i3/i5/i7 processors, 8GB/16GB of RAM, and 128GB/256GB/512GB of internal storage, some of which will have NVMe SSDs. The screen is bright (300 nits) and FHD (1920×1080) with minimal bezels just like last year. Additionally, users will get a magnesium alloy frame that is rigid, thin and light with a convertible form factor. Add to all this a fingerprint scanner, a 4 speaker audio setup, WIFI 6 and Bluetooth 5 and you have a Chromebook that hits on all marks.
Sure, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook has a bit more pizzazz in the design, a stowed stylus, and that jaw-dropping 4K AMOLED display, but those are the only real differences. For its part, the ASUS has a colorway that is quite striking in the white model that gives off an iridescent sheen like a toned-down version of the Galaxy Note 10. It also has support for USI (unified stylus initiative) pens, so stylus support is a go as well. The only place this device fully lags behind the Galaxy Chromebook is in the display department, but I do think the ASUS’ display is still quite good and not a reason to pass on it by any means.
If ASUS can keep the price near what the Flip C434 retailed for, the competition between this and the Galaxy Chromebook will be crazy. We have good reason to believe the MSRP will stay below $699 and if it does, it will be a hard sell to convince most users that the AMOLED screen and red body of the Galaxy Chromebook is worth the $300 price difference. If ASUS lets the price creep up too high, however, I think they’ll fall victim to Samsung’s market appeal and muscle.
One thing is for sure, however, and that is the fact that we all came away quite impressed by the feel, look, and performance of this new flagship Chromebook from ASUS. It is a step in the right direction for them and in every way this Chromebook is the proper successor the excellent Flip C434 deserved. We can’t wait until the end of March when ASUS gets around to shipping this stellar new addition to the Chromebook lineup.